Debbie Wilkins
Debbie Wilkins
Portrayed by Shirley Cheriton
Introduced by Julia Smith and Tony Holland
Gender Female Female
First Appearance 21 March 1985
Last Appearance 14 May 1987
Duration 1985–87
Status Alive
Occupation Bank Clerk
Classification Former; regular
BoyfriendTerry Rich
FatherDerek Wilkins
MotherIris Wilkins
Debbie Wilkins made her first appearance 21 March 1985. She is portrayed by Shirley Cheriton. Debbie is Walford's first upwardly mobile character. She has an on/off relationship with her ill-fated boyfriend Andy O'Brien and she tends to be a bit too pretentious for the working class locals of Albert Square.


Debbie moves to Albert Square with her boyfriend, nurse Andy O'Brien in March 1985. At the time of their arrival, they are the only upwardly mobile residents. They throw cocktail parties, get involved in campaigns and protests, and jog in matching track suits, much to the bemusement of the locals. Many of Debbie’s working class neighbors find her stuck-up; none guess that Debbie had actually been raised in a Walford council estate, not far from Albert Square. Debbie and Andy have a rocky relationship. Ambitious and determined, Debbie's interests focus upon success, whilst Andy wants to settle down and start a family. When Debbie leaves a steady job as a bank clerk in order to start her own business and make fast money, Andy is furious as they then have insufficient funds to repay their mortgage. Various rows erupt, and Debbie soon discovers that starting her own business is not as easy as she had expected. Without regular work, Debbie begins to struggle financially.

Andy asks Debbie to marry him and for Christmas 1985, he buys her an engagement ring; however, she is mugged on New Year's Eve and it is stolen. Andy subsequently becomes over-protective, which infuriates Debbie as it goes against her ideals of female equality. The situation between Debbie and Andy is complicated further by local policeman Roy Quick, who begins wooing Debbie early in 1986. This leads to Debbie and Andy having an open relationship; dating other people, but living together. The situation is not ideal however, as Andy gets jealous seeing Debbie pursued. Roy is infatuated with Debbie and asks her to marry him several times, but Debbie declines when she realizes she wants to marry Andy after all. Debbie and Andy's happiness does not to last as in August 1986 Andy runs in front of a truck to save a toddler from being hit and is killed. Debbie’s grief is compounded with guilt as her last words to Andy during a row are “drop dead”. Debbie is unable to pay her mortgage after Andy dies so she moves in with her friend Naima Jeffery.

In 1987 the women of Walford are targeted by a man known as the "Walford attacker". Sharon Watts, Sue Osman and Pat Wicks all have encounters with the attacker and in April that year, Debbie is attacked too. While she is alone in the launderette, the "Walford attacker" attempts to assault her. Debbie manages to ward him off using self-defence, which leads to his eventual capture. Debbie's heroic act leads to her meeting Detective Terry Rich, who is investigating the case. He asks Debbie to act as his girlfriend in an under-cover stake-out being held in a restaurant, and after getting to know each other they begin dating. When Terry is transferred to another division, Debbie decides to leave with him. They get engaged and throw a celebratory leaving party in The Queen Victoria, departing in May 1987. Later that year she writes to Naima to tell her that she is pregnant; Debbie and Terry marry off-screen.

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Helen | Jo | Marie Evans | Sarah | Shrimp | Tracey | Winston 
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Peggy Mitchell | Kat Moon | Alfie Moon | Sean Slater | Ryan Malloy | Jean Slater | Charlie Slater | Danny Pennant | Zainab Khan | Andrew Cotton | Yvonne Cotton | Glenda Mitchell | Carol Jackson | Charlie Cotton | Cindy Williams Jnr | Liam Butcher | Lola Pearce | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Shabnam Kazemi | Cora Cross | Lee Carter | Babe Smith | Pam Coker | Les Coker | Claudette Hubbard | Preston Cooper
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Pat Evans | Stan Carter | Archie Mitchell | Nana Moon | Lou Beale | Tiffany Mitchell | Lucy Beale | Nick Cotton | Carl White | Bradley Branning | Pauline Fowler | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Ronnie Mitchell  | Roxy Mitchell   | Sylvie Carter  | Paul Coker
Actors Danny Dyer | Shane Richie | Adam Woodyatt | Steve McFadden | Mike Reid | Thomas Law | Neil McDermott | Charlie Clements | John Bardon | John Altman | Peter Dean | Perry Fenwick
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